But first, an intro: We are Laura and Alice, keen eaters, cooks and friends (in that order). As a challenge (bigger than we thought) and passion project (most of the time!) we set up our supperclub Jackson&Levine. Many a failed lemon tart and a lot of washing up later we found ourselves writing about our food experiences.
Like a lot of you we spend most of our time in the kitchen, but chefs we are not. Every fortnight we’ll bring you a seasonal, delicious and most importantly easy recipe and some of our favourite bits and pieces from our daily lives.
We’d love to hear from you too – so anything you’re enjoying, be sure to share #ELLEeats
New Year, New Skills
We are starting the new year as we left the old one…thinking about food. We haven’t quite managed to cut out the carbs or the booze (one half of J&L tried and failed) but we have kicked off the year determined to channel our eating obsession into something useful at least.
It seems fitting that our first recipe is a staple in our kitchen, but one that we are constantly honing. A dish that can both be formal and showy, or honest and rustic...pasta.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, making your own pasta is a great trick to have up your sleeve. You might want to do the same as us and invest a little leftover christmas money on learning the difference between fettucine and farfalle at this Burro e Salvia pasta course in South East London (£40-£50) or Carluccio’s nationwide (£35). It helped us perfect the following recipe, its easy, fun and delicious.
300g of '00' pasta flour
3 medium eggs
Pinch of salt
You’ll need a pasta machine (very easy and inexpensive to get hold of) – or really big muscles.
Place the flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack the eggs into the well, add a pinch of salt then gradually incorporate the egg into the flour with a fork.
Once the mixture starts to bind transfer to a flat surface and knead until you have a silky (not crumbly) dough.
Add a small amount of flour or olive oil, for too wet or too dry dough, respectively
Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Cut your ball of dough into four and work with a quarter at a time. Keeping the remaining portions wrapped so they don’t dry out.
Using a rolling pin flatten into a rough rectangle that will fit through the pasta machine on the widest setting. Repeating on this setting until you have a uniform thickness
Feed the dough through the machine, fold it in half, then feed in through again. Then change the setting so the roller is narrower (down a notch)
Repeat this rolling method until you get to the last setting on the roller, your pasta will be very thin so handle with care
Place your long sheet of pasta, with flour underneath it, on a flat surface. From this point you can make make so many pasta shapes and dishes – whether it be tagliatelle, or our favourite, ravioli.
Our favourite Ravioli filling
drizzle of olive oil
½ lemon, juice and zest
Grating of nutmeg
Salt and pepper
Stir all the ingredients together in a bowl. Season to taste.
Divide your long strip of pasta into two width ways
On one strip place a good heaped teaspoon of filling, leaving a 3 cm gap between each portion
Using a pastry brush and water, brush in between each portion of filling.
Before it dries, lay your second piece of pasta on top
Press firmly around each pile of filling with your fingers to push out any trapped air and seal in the filling.
With a pastry or biscuit cutter, cut out individual parcels. Crimping with your fingers to ensure they are sealed.
Until next time, J&L x